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Democratic state attorneys general sue to preserve net neutrality rules

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Democratic state attorneys general sue to preserve net neutrality rules

Twenty-two Democratic state attorneys general on Tuesday launched a lawsuit aimed at preserving net neutrality on Tuesday, the same day the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) published its rule striking the regulations in the Federal Register.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the suit along with other state attorneys generals, had previously filed a lawsuit, but they are refiling their case now that the order is eligible for legal challenge, following its official publication.

Their lawsuit hinges on the Administrative Procedure Act, which they argue prevents the FCC from “arbitrary and capricious” redactions to already existing policy.

“The FCC’s new rule fails to justify the Commission’s departure from its long-standing policy and practice of defending net neutrality while misinterpreting and disregarding critical record evidence on industry practices and harm to consumers and businesses,” a press release from Schneiderman’s office reads.

Along with the attorneys general, Mozilla and video streaming platform Vimeo on Thursday also refiled their suits intended to preserve the rules.

The Republican-led FCC in December voted 3-2 along party lines in favor of Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to gut the regulations, which were created in 2015 under Obama-appointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. Before the rollback is officially in place, the White House Office of Management and Budget must sign off on it, which it is expected to do.

In Congress, lawmakers are making a last-ditch effort to keep the FCC from scrapping net neutrality. Senators are one vote away from being able to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) intended to stop the FCC’s order. If they are successful though, it’s unlikely that the CRA will be successful in the House. President Trump is expected to not sign the CRA should it reach his desk.

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